With its humble beginnings as an amateur music and drama association by a group of Teochew opera enthusiasts, Nam Hwa Opera has braved the test of time to reach its 55th anniversary this year! Having given over 130 public performances, the opera troupe continues to enrich local arts and culture by keeping this art form well and alive even today.
This June, the troupe will be performing two one night only shows at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre – Teochew Opera film classics –《告亲夫》Prosecuting the Husband and《刘明珠》Lady Liu Ming Zhu. Appropriately, with its 55 year history, both casts will be showcasing three generations of Teochew Opera performers and musicians.
At only 15 years old, young Chinese Opera prodigy Tan Wei Tian will be taking on the title role in《刘明珠》Lady Liu Ming Zhu. In the classic, the story follows the eponymous Liu Ming Zhu, a brave and intelligent young lady who goes on an arduous journey to the capital to avenge her father, who, in an extremely Game of Thrones style twist, has been falsely accused of treason and executed. With the help of her friends and a fierce sense of justice, Ming Zhu eventually exposes the deep corruption running through the royal family, and avenges her father at last.
Wei Tian will be joined by veteran Singaporean Teochew Opera performers, siblings Tan Kah Noi (53 years old), Tan Khar Luang (62 years old) and Tan Ong Ah (56 years old), of the prestigious Sin Yong Hua Heng Opera Troupe. In addition, mainstream theatre regulars might be surprised to find some familiar faces involved here as well, with Ellison Tan, Lina Yu, Al Hafiz Sanusi and Isaac Tan joining the cast.
As for 《告亲夫》Prosecuting the Husband, audiences will be entreated to the tragic love story between scholar Gai Liang Cai and Yan Qiu Rong, thwarted by an arranged marriage, murder plot and betrayals all around. Both performances will also be accompanied with live music performed by Nam Hwa Teochew Music Ensemble, featuring the Youth Ensemble members performing alongside senior musicians.
This June, prepare to witness the drama and beauty of Chinese Opera with this double production of Teochew classics, and fall in love with this classic art form as the varied members of Nam Hwa Opera bring these unforgettable characters and stories to life onstage.
Photo Credit: Tan Lye Soon
《告亲夫》Prosecuting the Husband and《刘明珠》Lady Liu Ming Zhu will be staged on 22 and 23 June 2018 respectively, 7.30pm at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre Auditorium. Tickets available via phone at +65 63235528, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.